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Quick five with WatConsult’s Rajiv Dingra

24-December-2012
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Quick five with WatConsult’s Rajiv Dingra

Social media marketing is turning out to be a must-have platform in a digital media plan of brands today. In India, brands are experimenting with social at different levels; they are optimistic about this emerging platform.

In a conversation with exchange4media, Rajiv Dingra, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, WatConsult highlights the changing definition of social in the business of communication.

How has marketers’ demand from social changed in the recent years?
Marketers are looking at more real world value from social now than ever before. ‘Likes’ is an old metric today. What marketers are trying to achieve now is see if they can heighten consumer engagement via social. Can social build evangelists? Can it influence sales? It’s an era wherein real marketing requirements are being fulfilled by social and marketers are continuously seeking to improve on what was done yesterday.

With new engagement forms such as videos and apps coming up, what are your thoughts on visual brand building exercises via the internet in India?
I think internet’s role was one of a visual branding media. But unfortunately due to the low bandwidth and high focus on RoI-driven campaigns, this aspect never got exploited fully well. Today you have the right mix of tools on digital to do a visual branding campaign where the target customer is a participant and not just a viewer. This completely changes both, the impact and value of what visual branding can do via digital.

How should Indian brands go beyond a ‘like’ on social media?
I think the savvy brands have already gone beyond ‘like’. The question marketers need to ask is ‘Who’ and not ‘How many’. Eventually they will start asking ‘How much’ time customer is spending on his brand. The ‘Who’ and ‘How much’ will ensure that marketers drive value from their social media programmes and not run it as a pure race for hollow ‘like’ numbers.

Please throw light on the evolution of blogging in India. How is the medium leveraged by brands today in their digital media plan?
Blogging has matured in India. There are clear influencers in each vertical today – be it finance, entertainment, fashion or telecom/technology. There are aggregators too that are doing a good job of creating a community of small bloggers. I think blogging as a medium is still under leveraged as it takes more time and effort from the brand’s standpoint. I think brands that are serious realise the long-term impact of a good blogging presence and know that a good blogger outreach programme cannot be underestimated.

What are the campaigns that WatConsult has engaged in recently?
WatConsult has been associated with several campaigns such as the #onetankfull campaign for Ford, where we engaged influencers or the #Supersaturday campaign for Bestseller Group, which was focussed on driving sales via social media. At WatConsult, we now service 60+ brands on social and digital platforms and the endeavour has been to do simple things differently and to do different things in a simple manner. We feel digital is one platform wherein the marriage of differentiated and simple campaigns work very well and that's what we continue to achieve.

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